DFS Lessons Learned From 2018 – Tight Ends
Achieving consistent success in the Daily Fantasy Sports landscape is hard. With the amount of information available nowadays, the edge in DFS continues to get smaller each passing NFL season. But just because the gap is getting smaller, it does not mean one can not be obtained. A nice way to get ahead of the DFS competition is by taking a look back.
While the rest of the industry spends the off-season looking at free agency moves and the NFL Draft, it is good practice to always review the previous season’s results. This process will help daily fantasy sports players get ahead of the curve. As they discover new trends that may put them on a certain player before the public discovers it.
As we continue our lessons learned from 2018 series, this piece will focus on the tight end position. By examining the top scoring DFS tight ends of the 2018 NFL season we will better understand how to pick the position for our daily fantasy lineups in 2019.
Using Targets in DFS
One of the best predictors of DFS success for the tight end position is an opportunity. And this makes plenty of sense. In order for a tight end to produce daily fantasy points, they must be targeted. So more targets equal more opportunity. By examining the top weekly scoring tight ends for the first 16 weeks, 12 of the 18 were targeted in the passing game at least 10 times. And of the six to not hit double-digit targets, four of the tight ends saw at least seven targets.
So before you select your tight end for DFS purposes, you need to identify a situation where the tight end will be heavily targeted. There are a couple of different ways to determine this type of situation. One of these is injury has depleted a team’s other options. For example, in Week 15 the Giants’ Evan Engram led all tight ends in DraftKings’ scoring. By using FFStatistics Weekly Targets tool you will see that Week 15’s targets stick out from his other games. He had 12 targets in this game which was his season high by a lot. Why did he see so many opportunities? The Giants had no one else to throw to. Odell Beckham did not play and Sterling Shepard was slowed by injury.
And if there are not any injury situations to take advantage of, the other way to get targets from your tight ends is to simply pay up for the position. Eight of the 16 top weekly scoring tight ends on DraftKings were either Kansas City’s Travis Kelce or Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz.
Using Touchdowns in DFS
While trying to predict touchdowns in football is fluky, there is no doubt touchdowns are the most important variable in tight end DFS scoring. Of the 18 top weekly scoring tight ends between DraftKings and FanDuel, just two of the tight ends did not find paydirt.
How do you find touchdown opportunity for tight ends? One of the easiest ways is to use FFStatistics Database and examine red zone stats for the position.
FanDuel versus DraftKings
In the Lessons Learned from 2018 – Running Back edition, the emphasis was on understanding the scoring system of the DFS platform you are using before selecting your ball carriers for your entries. FanDuel and DraftKings’ scoring systems for running backs are drastically different.
But for the tight end position, this could not be farther from the truth. When selecting your tight end, you want to find the one that meets the targets and touchdown criteria from above. While FanDuel and DraftKings do score differently for pass catchers, the outcome of the scoring is rarely different.
In just two of the 16 weeks examined, was the top scoring tight end not the same for both DFS sites. So you do not need to worry about what site you are playing on, instead focus on finding the tight end that will see lots of targets and have a chance at crossing the goal line.
Putting It All Together
When selecting your tight end position for DFS purposes, you want to target the volume stats (targets and touchdowns) rather than efficiency.
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